Donald- You write, “People have to understand that for Nathan a demand that Palestinians have the same human rights as Israeli Jews is like asking him to drop dead. For him it is a dehumanizing demand.”
I do not come to defend Nathan regarding this accusation, I come to unpack the Israeli Jewish fears regarding Palestinians getting the same human rights as Israeli Jews. I wish to unpack this in the context of reference called the one state solution.
Once upon a time in the PLO charter the solution to the conflict was described and included a demand for the expulsion of all Jews whose roots in the place could not be attributed as earlier than the British occupation. (Rhetoric of expulsion does not reach back merely to 1918, but to 1897 the official birth of the Zionist movement. such rhetoric is on display in the comments section as well.)
that the idea of expelling all Jews (who cannot trace their migration to before 1918) would persist even if the official rhetoric is now more progressive is only natural. To fear that it would become the policy of a government that is majority nonJewish is not outlandish, but if this one state came through the result of some sort of a pact, one imagines that the pact would prohibit such an expulsion. But one would also imagine that despite this prohibition, it is not unnatural to fear that this idea would persist and the attitude would find its way into public policy.
Thus when Ali Abunimah predicts after the establishment of this new Palestine a migration of Jews who will find themselves unable to tolerate equality, I think it is not unreasonable to fear that it is really going to be public policy and attitude that goes beyond equality that would play a part in such an anticipated migration. (Am I wrong to call it in some a gleefully anticipated migration?)
When benny Morris predicts a one state solution leading to large scale jewish emigration, do you feel that his fears are racist or ahistorical?
Let us for a moment consider the Copts of Egypt. Have their numbers decreased over the last 70 years? Did they feel safe under Morsi or do they feel safer under el-Sisi?
How is it to live in Lebanon? Does the Christian adjustment to Hezbollah having an army independent of the state reflect real equanimity or is it merely acceptance of a sad reality?
There was and is white migration from south africa, which is primarily because of outlandish crime rates. This is another factor, which would probably not be a precise copy of the South Africa situation, but the lack of security of the future Palestine for its Jewish population would not be an outlandish fear.
Regarding the flag and symbols of the state and holidays, these totems of statehood may be unimportant, but who will control the army? The establishment of a Jewish army and the acquisition of a territory on which that Jewish army is in control is in my conception at the basis of the Zionist reaction to the European cataclysm. Will there be worldwide peace and kumbaya at the same time as the Palestinians become the majority of voters in the new Palestine? Obviously not. Humans will still fight wars. Only there will be no Jewish army defending the Jews, but now a Palestinian army with Jews and Palestinians serving in this army and defending the populations of this new Palestine. But instead to anticipate the continuity of the binary us versus them that exists between Arabs and Israel, seems to portend that this army situation would be a bit more complicated than the equality that is described.
I do not scoff at Judah Magnes’s concept of a Jewish/Arab joint polity. (In his day the Arabs did not refer to themselves as Palestinian as a rule.) But I do not feel that fear of the realities involved are farfetched. And thus the equal human rights that you tout are just a cover for the reality that will encourage the migration of the majority of Jews, because it will not be a situation of equality, but one of continued conflict with the majority imposing their will on a minority.
That some Palestinians and some of their advocates might be pure of heart in their proposal of equality is likely.
But surely there are also some Palestinians and their advocates who anticipate the future and use the word equality to describe a situation that would cause mass migration, that they are pleased to anticipate. That Jewish Zionists and nonZionists fear that this proposal of equality will have devastating effects on the Jewish population seems reasonable. And it is not equality that they fear, it is a situation that wears the name equality, but will be aimed at their migration.